My husband John, has spent every free moment planning a late-spring ski tour to the Swiss Alps. One morning he looked up from the whirlwind of trip-related emails, phone calls, route maps, and gear lists and asked me to recreate the hearty muesli he ate daily on last year’s ski tour.
I set out to make John’s mountain muesli, but couldn’t help but tinker. We’ve been drizzling a cardamom and lime yogurt sauce from the Hollyhock cookbook on our pancakes all winter. Tart and fragrant, the sauce adds flavor without sugar. I added coconut water for extra potassium since ZICO, a sponsor, sends a few cases every month. I got the idea from a Food & Wine recipe for Apple Muesli with Goji Berries that I’ve bookmarked on my iPhone but haven’t tried yet.
The last time I started the day with muesli was at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista, California. Packed with crunchy grapes, the OTC muesli powered me through four-hour bike rides in the foothills of the Jamul and San Ysidro Mountains. During the tough climbs, I’d dig for inspiration by imagining all the Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who had started off their training day with that same breakfast. Nostalgic as I am for the OTC muesli, grapes are not my favorite fruit. Instead, I chopped up some tart Honeycrisp apples.
Muesli works well for everyday breakfasts too. During the week, I pack it into old yogurt containers for John to take to work and me to tote to the gym. When I make this muesli for weekend guests, I set out a jug of maple syrup so folks can sweeten their portion to taste. Bowls of shredded coconut, flax seeds, and fresh raspberries transform this healthy weekday breakfast into a luxurious weekend treat.
Make ahead: The meusli must be prepared at least 12 hours ahead, so the oats have time to absorb the yogurt and coconut water. I make it before I go to bed, so I can come back from my early morning workout and join my guests for breakfast without having to do much work.
Muesli with Lime, Cardamom, and Coconut
Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
Zest from 1 lime (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened coconut water (we prefer ZICO)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tart and crisp apples (such as Honeycrisp or Granny Smith), diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, and/or blueberries
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons flax seeds
Two pints fresh berries
Stir together the yogurt, zest, coconut water, cardamom and salt in a big bowl. Add the oats, apples, almonds, and dried fruit. Combine well.
Store the muesli overnight in the refrigerator, either in the mixing bowl or in to-go containers. Top individual servings with maple syrup, coconut, flax seeds, and berries, if you like.
And now for more ski photos...